I graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering in 2011 after which I spent 6 months in South Korea teaching English to middle and elementary students. Currently, I am a graduate student in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County primarily doing research but also tutoring undergraduates.
Undergraduate Degree: Johns Hopkins University - Bachelors, Mechanical Engineering
Graduate Degree: University of Maryland-Baltimore County - Current Grad Student, Mechanical Engineering
GRE Quantitative: 165
GRE Verbal: 164
College Computer Science
High School Computer Science
High School Physics
Technology and Coding
What is your teaching philosophy?
Bringing a calm, relaxed attitude can take the fear out of learning a new and complicated subject.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
To start, it's important to identify the student's strengths and weaknesses so that we know what foundation we're working with. From the initial diagnostic, the way becomes clear, both for me and the student, on what information should be studied to reach their goal.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I would first let the student know that many students, including me, have struggled with the subject matter before, and that it's not a sign that they are less intelligent or that they are not cut out for the subject. I would also ask them questions about the subject matter, like a less experienced colleague or classmate who missed class would, letting them know that I am not judging them, but rather that I want to see how they understand the subject matter.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Positive encouragement based on current progress and reminders of their past accomplishments. Sometimes it's hard to see progress as a student, so it is very important for me to keep a perspective of the student's development for them.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Being in Mechanical Engineering, I am fond of physical analogies, and would try to relate the skill or concept to something the student probably does in daily life.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I would draw their attention to key words, such as conjunctions which describe the relationships between phrases, or listing words such as first, next, and also. By starting at key words, it is easier to describe a reading passage as descriptive, comparative, narrative, or argumentative.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Consistently returning to the fundamentals leads to better retention of the information over the long term, and allows the student to understand the more advanced parts of a subject more quickly.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
There is quite a lot that someone can do with some Math, Science, or English knowledge. Beyond just preparing for a test, I would first ask the student what (s)he would like to do career-wise and show them how what they're struggling with is applicable to their dream job. Additionally, I would focus on small wins initially to get their brains moving in the right direction.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Flashcards, ascending in difficulty, are how I learned and retained a great deal of information as a language and physics student. I would utilize this to somewhat gamify the subject matter and promote retention.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Confidence comes from repeated success. Therefore, I would prompt the student to do extra problems (with final answers given) after a problem session so that they can build their confidence in their own understanding of the material.